The Linguist

The Linguist 55,5

The Linguist is a languages magazine for professional linguists, translators, interpreters, language professionals, language teachers, trainers, students and academics with articles on translation, interpreting, business, government, technology

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Page 16 of 35 OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2016 The Linguist 17 FEATURES contained in such documents is true and correct. Most of the legal files that are for submission to the Home Office bear stamps and signatures from the government officials and bodies that certified the accuracy of the content in the original, and the identity of the registrars who signed them. Therefore, it is important to translate the content of all stamps and seals in addition to the content of the document. Within the EU, an Apostille Certificate is recognised by all member states and I am sometimes asked whether I can provide the Apostille. I do not. In general, the documents should have the Apostille already; that certification should be given in the country of issue. The Apostille itself may not require translation because it is often written in various languages. If the document was issued in the UK and the client needs the Apostille to submit the document to an institution, embassy or consulate from a Spanish-speaking country, I recommend that clients complete the procedure themselves by following the steps on the UK Government website ( How to quote Clients sometimes call me to inquire about my rates saying that they have a birth certificate, which is "just" one page or about 500 words. I explain to them that my quote for certified translations is not exclusively dependant on the number of words of the source document and that there are other aspects to consider. I always request a copy of the document before quoting. I do not need to see the original documents, but instead request a clear scanned copy or photo. The basic information on birth or marriage certificates is generally the same, wherever it was issued, but the format, content, legal certifications and stamps vary a lot from country to country, and even within provinces of the same country. Those factors determine the time it will take me to do the translation. Working on only one page may look easy, but it can demand more time than expected if the handwriting is not clear or the legal jargon too specific to a particular region. When I quote, I consider the time it will take me not just to do the translation but also to prepare an invoice, communicate with the client, receive feedback, make changes, certify the documents and post them to the client. I also consider the printing and delivery costs. When the translations are completed and certified, I generally post the documents to the client using the Recorded Delivery Service to track them. The documents can also be scanned and sent as electronic files, but the requirement for visa applications is usually to submit hard copies and, consequently, the translations should also be printed. Getting started While studying legal translation at the National University of Cordoba in Argentina, I received guidelines about the procedures and requirements expected for the translation of official documents. When I settled in the UK in 2004, I researched the established conventions for certified translations and found the SIA's detailed explanation. When I launched my business in 2008, I emailed my CV to hundreds of translation agencies and filled in a great number of online forms, with the objective of contacting at least 10 agencies a day. I then changed my strategy to focus on my website, doing courses in basic XHTML and search engine marketing, which increased the number of potential clients contacting me. I combine SIA requirements with experience to produce translations that will meet my clients' needs and ensure that they recommend me to future clients. Notes 1 Note that CIOL does not currently accredit companies 2 See licensing-translation.aspx for further details Working on one page may look easy, but it can demand more time than expected if the jargon is too specific PAPER TRAIL 2 Marsham Street, headquarters of the Home Office since 2005 (above); and individuals need to apply for visas before they travel (left) 'M ARSHAMSTREET', STEVECADMAN VIA FLICKR 3/2/08 (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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